The Importance of Humor in the Workplace

Employees LaughingRegardless of how big or small the company, stress tends to pile up in the workplace as time goes on. The pressure of meeting sales targets, issues with demanding clients, internal conflicts, and other typical corporate problems are pervasive, and can put everyone on edge. But is there anything you can do?

A stressed out workforce is far less effective than usual, especially if employees are unwilling to cooperate with each other. Communication will break down, morale will sink, and productivity could take a hit. Thankfully, a company culture that encourages humor is instrumental to preventing scenarios like these.

The last thing you want are employees who feel a need to take themselves seriously at all times. People who cannot lighten up at work and crack a joke every now and then might think that they are highly effective employees, but it is the exact opposite.

The Essential Role of Workplace Humor

Management sometimes thinks that workplace humor should be confined to company events where employees are supposed to unwind; a celebration for a new product launch, perhaps, headed by a funny keynote speaker, says, will get everyone in a more festive mood. But what about in the day-to-day operations? Here are a few benefits to having an office where laughter flows freely.

  • Better communication – Humor can do wonders at improving workplace communication. If employees are comfortable enough to joke with each other, they are usually more than willing to make suggestions, voice concerns, and ask questions.
  • Employee satisfaction – A more relaxed workplace where everyone gets along well is excellent for improving staff satisfaction. High office morale leads to much lower turnover, and less conflict.
  • Improved productivity – Not only do people work harder when they are happy and not stressed out, humor also tend to stimulate creativity.
  • Superior customer service – Clients can tell easily what kind of culture an organization has. In almost all cases, they will also appreciate an employee that can put a smile on their face.

Of course, there is a big difference between good humor and jokes that will offend someone or otherwise make the company look unprofessional. Be proactive in shaping the company’s culture, and encourage more of the former.